Refining the future of media broadcast
Today we released Adobe Flash Media Server 4.5 that will set the stage to expand online content libraries and give audiences more choice and access to the content they want. This release enables traditional broadcasters and publishers to drive new revenue channels by accelerating video delivery to more devices with better quality, and quality of service in an era of change. Devices able to play video well are changing at a pace faster than any other technology we’ve seen – the rate of change also makes it difficult to even know what device to target. Today, mobile delivery only accounts for small percentange of total video consumption growing quickly and positioning it to take over both desktop and traditional TV broadcast.
RTMP delivery through Flash Media Server has supported the largest live events in the world such as Obama’s Presidential Inauguration, World Cup of Soccer and the Royal Wedding. HTTP streaming will help network operators, service providers and ISPs scale to meet the demands of more video online – and that is why HTTP Streaming is the focus for this release. Broadcasters such as the BBC have been actively testing HTTP delivery to Flash through events such as Wimbledon. Broadcasters such as AEG Digital Media who are responsible for some of the biggest events on the web have also indicated that HTTP delivery is an absolute requirement to meet global capacity concerns. (note: you can watch
Our goal at Adobe is to help broadcasters change the world through their digital experiences with video. Flash Media Server is an important part of a greater video solution to reach larger, more global audiences with technology providing consistency in a world of player and device fragmentation – this release marks a significant step forward to access more opportunities and to create these new experiences that entertain and engage audiences. FMS4.5 extends online delivery both through Adobe Flash Player and to the Apple device with one simple broadcast workflow and a tremendous opportunity to create something really special.
Video publishing and protection is now simpler so broadcasters can embrace the change and increase audiences on more screens and platforms with a very easy and resilient workflow for HLS, HDS, RTMP and Multicast through innovation and scalable video protection to ensure content plays where it is suppose to over more networks using HTTP streaming technology.
Consistent Video Experiences – Adobe has created consistency with Adobe Flash and Adobe AIR running on more devices than any other platform. With Flash, publishers are assured that protection, transport and quality is consistent across MAC, PC, Linux, Android and Blackberry Tablet OS. Apple iPhone and iPad have had a significant impact how consumers experience and engage with video and have changed the industry. Publishers are now faced with a challenge and forced to prepare content for delivery through HTML5 to play in the Apple Safari browser or native Apps. Now publishers can simplify their video publishing and protection workflows with Adobe Flash Media Server 4.5 with protected HLS support, audio channel extraction, DVR/PVR live, on demand and variant playlists. One set of content without any preparation or additional storage and deliver safely to both Adobe Flash with HDS and to Apple devices using HLS.
Yes, you can use the same assets (if they are encoded to Apple Specs) and the same server to prepare, protect and deliver both to HLS to Apple devices and HDS (HTTP Dynamic Streaming) to Adobe Flash Player.
Key New Features inside Flash Media Server 4.5
- Same Source Video delivery to Apple Devices and Adobe Flash (single workflows to reach both platforms)
- On Demand video packaging / segmenting for HTTP video delivery (no need to pre-package your content)
- Set-level F4M Manifests and Variant M3u8 playlist support
- Simple and robust content protection workflows for HTTP streaming (as easy as saying on or off)
- Live PVR/DVR support for Apple Devices and Adobe Flash with Disk Management (don’t miss that special moment in live)
- Support for Studio-approved DRM with Adobe Flash Access 3 (robust DRM that exceeds your requirements on Desktop and Android)
- Multicast SSM and ASM, with Multicast re-broadcast
- SIP Device support for communication
- P2P support in Flash Media Interactive Server
HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS) (introduced last year) has been significantly updated with new features including Protected HTTP Dynamic Streaming (PHDS), simple and robust video protection built on Adobe Flash Access (DRM) technology. With PHDS, publishers can easily encrypt and delivery over HTTP, which increases capacity and quality over constrained networks.
HDS functionality now exceeds the functionality found in our traditional RTMP delivery system – trusted globally today by the majority of top tier broadcasters such as ESPN. To use this feature, server operators simply enable it in the HTTP server configuration with options to enable server wide or target just the file. Flash Access is not required and there are no DRM license servers needed. When a Flash player client requests the stream over HTTP, FMS will encrypt the fragments as they leave, server and create the required license. What is unique about Flash Media Server, is that the license is part of the video itself. The keys are delivered and cached over HTTP which makes it a very scalable solution.
SWF Verification is used today in conjunction with RTMPe, and we have made it very easy to use with HTTP streaming. SWF file signatures are integrated into the encryption. This guarantees that video is playing back only within the experiences and web sites they were intended for. PHDS is perfect for content supported by advertising or live content and can be used both on the Desktop and on Android devices supporting Adobe Flash Player 11 (coming out soon). If your content requires additional DRM rules, you can also use Adobe Flash Access 3.
Protection for Apple devices is just as simple. Configure the server to encrypt, and FMS will encrypt the HLS .ts segments using Apple-supported AES128 bit encryption. The key delivery is served using SSL, and FMS can bind playback only to Apple devices to add further protection.
My favorite new feature is the on demand packaging of content for HTTP delivery. This takes the pain out of preparing your content ahead of time, storing it, protecting it and uploading it to your CDN for delivery. Flash Media Server 4.5 will let you use a single set of encoded content and deliver with encryption to both Flash and Apple devices using HTTP. This will save time and money, and we hope reduce the complexity to reach multiple platforms.
Adobe is committed to making it easy to publish video experiences across all devices. This release follows innovation in the server and Flash Player that today is used all over the world. Flash Media Server 4.5 responds to the changing landscape of video delivery, devices and requirements to publish great content in more places.
There is a lot more in this release that I will talk about in the days to come. So give it a try – you can download it for free right now at http://www.adobe.com/go/fms/
You can also visit us and see demos at our IBC stand in Amsterdam this week through September 13th (Hall 7 Stand 7.G27) .